Over the course of the past week, we’ve heard about the Virginia Tech tragedy nearly every day. As humans, when something bad happens, we need there to be a motive. However, even if we had an explanation for why Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people, we can’t change what happened.

The act of blaming someone takes the responsibility away from oneself. We can blame the massacre on violence in the media, flaws in America, the cultural differences of the shooter, etc. In the end, the only thing that comes out of blaming is more anger and tension; no matter how much blaming we do, it will not bring back the lives that were lost.

While it could be beneficial to review the possible causes of the shooting to better campus security and work out the kinks for next time, we should not solely focus on those causes. Embrace others in your community. Smile at a stranger. A small act of kindness may seem a speck in the grand scheme of things, but if everyone was doing it, an environment could be fostered in which outbreaks of violence would be decreased.

The world has gone through a lot of tragedies in the past decade, like 9/11, Columbine, and the wars in the Middle East. While we may never eliminate all violence from the world, we can certainly reduce it. It’s fine to talk, and it’s easy to blame, but none of those will prevent a gunman from shooting 32 people.

Jessica Sawyer, Lewiston


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